First off I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of fish. It would be my last choice of food when going out to eat and for many years the closest I came to a fish dinner would be the odd battered cod and chips from Leo Burdocks in Dublin. But I'm always willing to try new dishes out and explore my culinary and gastronomical boundaries.
This dish is from a Chinese cookbook I bought years and years ago. I have tabs in the book next to all the recipes I want to cook (yet have actually never cooked any). It's a really simple dish to make and is really healthy. The fish is steamed while the veg is simply stir-fried.
The recipe calls for any white fish. I used pollock because it was cheaper in Lidl but you can use cod if you prefer. The only real problem I had was sourcing Fish Stock. Other people might have better luck but in a Tescos in the countryside fish stock is hard to come by. If you can't find fish stock you can use vegetable stock and add about a teaspoon of fish sauce if you have any.
You need a steamer for this recipe. Traditionally you would use a bamboo steamer over a wok (which you can buy easily in any asian shop) but any veg steamer will work perfectly.
Another tip is in relation to the cornflour. If you don't have any or can't be bothered buying a bag just to use 1 tsp of it, you can simply use double the amount of regular flour (i.e. 2 tsp for this recipe).
The chinese greens are gorgeous and crunchy and the sauce gives them a lovely flavour. If you didn't have fish (or don't like fish) you could easily make them and use them as an accompaniment to steamed/ poached chicken if you want to keep it healthy.
450g White Fish (skinned, boned & cubed)
3 Spring Onions (chopped)
1 Back Bacon Rasher (rinded and chopped)
1 tbsp Rice Wine
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Egg White
1 Head Pak Choi
1 tsp Cornflour
1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
150ml Fish Stock
2 tbsp Groundnut Oil (or Toasted Sesame Oil)
2 Garlic Cloves (sliced)
2.5cm Fresh Ginger (shredded)
75g Green Beans
3 Spring Onions (sliced diagonally into 7.5cm lengths)
Salt & Black Pepper
- Put the fish, spring onion, bacon, rice wine, soy sauce & egg white into a blender and mix until smooth. With wet hands, form into balls (approx 20 balls)
- Steam the fish balls in batches in a steamer for 5-10 minutes until cooked through & firm. Remove from steamer & keep warm.
- Trip the pak choi & tear into manageable pieces.
- Blend together the cornflour, soy sauce & stock in a bowl & set aside.
- Heat the wok until hot. Add the oil. Stir-fry the ginger & garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans & cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the mangetout, pak choi & spring onions and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sauce to the wok & cook, stiring, until thickened & the vegetables are tender but crisp. Taste & season as necessary.
- Serve with the fish balls.